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The name is derived from Slavic gnězdo - a nest (modern Polish: gniazdo, modern Slovak: hniezdo; after the replacement of initial Proto-Slavic g > h), but the first mention is of German origin Knysen (1286). The Slovak name before 1948 was Gňazdá. The town belonged to a German language island. The German population was expelled in 1945.
According to the 2011 census, Hniezdne had 1,463 inhabitants, 91.46% declared Slovak nationality, 4.92% Romani, 0.82% German, 0.48% Rusyn, 0.48% Czech, 0.34% Ukrainian, 0.14% Polish, 0.07% Hungarian and 0.07% Croatian. 1.23% did not declare any nationality.
The records for genealogical research are available at the state archive "Statny Archiv in Levoca, Slovakia"
- Roman Catholic church records (births/marriages/deaths): 1624-1945 (parish A)
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